Penny Pritzker Nominated for Commerce Secretary


After weeks of speculation, or I should say expectation, President Obama has nominated Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker as his new Commerce Secretary this morning. Pritzker is on the board of her family-founded Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corporation and is also a longtime supporter and huge Democratic fundraiser. Her role as board member may make the actual confirmation a little tricky as the Hyatt Corporations relationships with labor unions hasn’t been solid to put it mildly, and there’s also the questions she will have to answer about the failed bank that was partly owned by the Pritzker family.

On a more personal note, the billionaire businesswoman would have something to add to her legacy that’s not directly tied to her wealthy and powerful family. If confirmed by the Senate, she would actually be the first member of the Pritzker family to hold a top-level political office. Besides her seat on the board of the Hyatt Hotels, Pritzker runs an investment firm, PSP Capital Partners, and its affiliated real estate investment firm, Pritzker Realty Group. Despite being heralded by President Obama as “one of the country’s most distinguished business leaders,” Pritzker has a little ways to go on her road to being confirmed, including an appearance with the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and one-on-one introductory meetings with its senators. It will be interesting to see how hard she’s grilled as this is known to be quite the arduous process, but she’s a financial rock star and there’s a lot of confidence she will get through it unscathed.

Source: Chicago Tribune